How far do “equity feminists” go in denying that there’s any widespread problem of sexism for feminism to address in the US? Here’s Hoff Sommers describing the “equity feminist” view of rape. First, she points out that in prison – which is to say, in an environment where men have absolutely no access to women – male rape is common. The she says:
Equity feminists find it reasonable to approach the problem of violence against women by addressing the root causes of the general rise in violence and the decline in civility. To view rape as a crime of gender bias… is perversely to miss its true nature. Rape is perpetrated by criminals, which is to say, it is perpetrated by people who are wont to gratify themselves in criminal ways and who care very little about the suffering they inflict on others.
Hoff-Sommers acknowledges that most violent criminals are male, but dismisses this as uninteresting: “That most violence is male isn’t news. But very little of it appears to be misogynist.”
And that is the “equity feminist” view on rape, according to the woman who invented the term.
What’s interesting to me is how, in bending over backwards to deny that rape has anything to do with gender bias, Hoff Sommers winds up not talking about rape at all, whinging on about “criminal violence” instead.
Yes, male-on-male rape is a serious problem (and a statistically huge problem in prison); but it’s not possible to seriously discuss causes and prevention of rape if we’re not willing to admit that – outside of environments where men are locked away from all access to women – rape is overwhelmingly perpetuated by men against women. And although all rapists are, by definition, criminals, the typical rapist isn’t a career criminal, but an acquaintance, boyfriend or husband of the victim. That’s the reality.
But since dealing with reality would conflict with “equity feminist” ideology, Hoff Sommers chooses not to deal in reality. Instead, according to “equity feminism,” rape has to be understood as a subcategory of gender-neutral “violence” and a “decline in civility,” and therefore has nothing to do with women being attacked at all.